Political Science Now

Doing a Literature Review

Jeffrey W. Knopf, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Students entering a graduate program often encounter a new type of assignment that differs from the papers they had to write in high school or as college undergraduates: the literature review (also known as a critical review essay). Put briefly, a literature review summarizes and evaluates a body of writings about a specific topic. The need to conduct such reviews is by no means limited to graduate students; scholarly researchers generally carry out literature reviews throughout their research careers. In a world where the Internet has broadened the range of potentially relevant sources, however, doing a literature review can pose challenges even to an experienced researcher. [Read More]

PS: Political Science & Politics / Volume / Issue 01 / January 2006, pp 127-132

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